This past Thursday, over 400 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees crowded into the confines of Pier 92 in New York City, for Techday 2015: The World’s Largest Startup Event. The line to get in stretched several blocks along the Hudson River. Scores of startups vied for investment, favorable press and talent to add to their new ventures. In attendance were a number of 3D printing and related technology companies.
Solidoodle showed off two of their newest printers, the entry-level Press, and the Workbench, their flagship model. Both models can print at 100 micron resolution and the Workbench has a large build area of 12” x 12” x 12.” The Workbench, sporting dual extruders, was printing a small multi colored vase. Layer quality was very good, but a misalignment of one of the extruders led to the print being damaged before completion, a common problem when working with dual extruders.
Sophia Georgiou, CEO of The Inventory, Inc., was demoing their free 3D modeling app, Morphi, specifically aimed at making designing for 3D printing available to all. It is being billed as an educational tool to teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) subjects. Sophia was printing a candlestick holder, made in Morphi, on an Ultimaker 2, while robot cubes from Modular Robotics, sporting Morphi created skins, quietly rotated on the table. Morphi is currently available as an iPad app with future versions slated to run on Android, iPhone, Mac and Windows desktops and notebook computers.
DIWire by Pensa Labs is promoted as the first desktop CNC wire bender, and it was busily churning out wearable bunny ears. The machine is capable of creating more intricate designs that can be soldered or clipped together to create 3D structures.
Also, on the 2.5D side of things were two desktop electronic printers; the Argentum, by Cartesian Co, and the Squink by BotFactory. Argentum can print in conductive ink on various substrates, including flexible materials. The Squink, not only can print in conductive ink, but it has a pick-and-place system to attach components, enabling a fully functioning prototyped circuit board.
Mountables had a 3D printed wall docking station for iPhone and iPad. They were being printed live on the show floor, on a Makerbot. FormLabs was apparently scheduled to exhibit, but was not present.
While this was a relatively small showing for 3D printing, it is notable as there were no 3D printing companies and their related brethren at last year’s event. It stands to reason that next year’s show will have a similar increase of local 3D printing startups.